Atqiya is currently investigating various treatments therapies for people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) using a targeted therapeutic and multidisciplinary approach at the NeuRA Sleep and Breathing Research Team. She previously obtained a Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmacology and Biochemistry with her honours focusing on sleep apnoea as a risk factor of sudden death in infants. Atqiya’s PhD focuses on OSA which is a complex and multifactorial disorder with various characteristics that affect OSA individuals in a differential manner. It is an increasingly common sleep disorder where increasing prevalence of OSA is observed with age. The aim of her PhD is to identify and trial effective targeted treatment for OSA. This involves understanding traits of the disorder in sub-group populations within OSA and trying to optimise treatment using novel pharmaceutical agents as well as combination therapies involving pharmaceuticals and oral/ nasal appliances.
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common disorder characterised by repetitive narrowing and collapse of the upper airway during sleep. It is associated with daytime sleepiness, neurocognitive impairment, and a variety of adverse cardiovascular consequences. The first line treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. If tolerated, CPAP is highly effective in reducing sleep disordered breathing events. However, up to 50% of OSA patients are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy leaving many OSA patients without treatment.
Previous studies indicate that in selected obstructive sleep apnea participants a standard dose of a z-drug can shift the threshold for awakening during sleep (arousal) whilst maintaining the upper airway muscle activity required to keep the airway open. This study aims to investigate the effects of different doses of sleeping pills (Z-drugs) on how easily people wake up when the airway narrows during sleep, the activity of a major muscle located under the tongue (genioglossus) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) severity and symptoms.
Approximately 1/3 of all obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients have poor upper airway muscle activity during sleep which contributes to the repetitive narrowing or closure of the airway during sleep. This leads to abrupt arousals and disruption of sleep throughout the night which can lead to various health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, impaired cognitive function, decreased quality of life and patients are more likely to be involved in motor vehicular accidents.
Recent studies have found that combination of these noradrenergic and antimuscarinic agents help to improve upper airway muscle activity during sleep. Therefore, this clinical study will focus on determining the effects of these agents on the severity of sleep apnoea in OSA patients in hopes to improve treatment outcomes for OSA patients in the future. The study also aims to determine the effects of these combination of agents on cognitive alertness and other sleep parameters which are impaired in patients with OSA.
DR PETER BURKE Postdoctoral fellow
RICHARD LIM Honours student
DR AHMAD BAMAGOOS PhD student
AMAL OSMAN PhD student
Sleep Lab Manager
: 9399 1886